History of The Vineyard

1931 photoIt’s hard to imagine, looking at the modern building, that our school’s history began 150 years ago when a boys’ school was established in the basement of the Vineyard Chapel, Vineyard Road, Richmond. The name lives on.

Earl Russell (1792- 1878) later to be Lord Russell, Prime Minister of Great Britain, attended the opening of the first Vineyard School that was paid for ‘by means of goodly subscriptions...’ how many schools can boast that?

The school became so popular that girls were allowed to attend. Larger premises were needed and a new school was purpose built in 1867 (this building is still in the Vineyard Road). Despite two world wars, the Vineyard School continued to teach the children of Richmond within the heart of the community.

So, why isn’t the Vineyard school still in the Vineyard? Lack of space meant that the educational needs of modern children could not be met on the site. A new building was built close by in Marchmont Road and the infants moved there in 1961. Unfortunately, the high alumina cement used in the construction was unsuitable and the children were moved out post haste. After a brief period of moving from place to place, a new school was built at the top of Richmond Hill. Look at the gate posts at the entrance to our school drive and you will see a coat of arms for the Wesleyian College (now the American University, Richmond) . Land was purchased from the college and building work on the current Infant department began. Opening on 3rd November 1977, it remained the only school in the spacious grounds until 1984 when the junior school (opened by David Attenborough) also moved to the site. In the staff room, the RSJ marking the position of the defunct wall between the infant and junior school staff rooms can still be seen.

In 1992, the two schools were amalgamated into the current Vineyard Primary School.

Since those humble beginnings 150 years ago, our values and aims remain the same. We are still a local school, embedded in our community, proud of our heritage and excited about the future as we continue to make our own history.